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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Intolerance ~ Award wapsi ... JK Rowling this time !!

Harry James Potter is   the titular protagonist in  series of eponymous novels. The majority of the books' plot covers seven years in the life of the orphan Harry, who, on his eleventh birthday, learns he is a wizard. Thus, he attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to practice magic under the guidance of the kindly headmaster Albus Dumbledore. Wait ! - Harry is  a fictional icon.

Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main stories are about Harry's struggle against Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the wizard governing body known as the Ministry of Magic and subjugate all wizards and Muggles (non-magical people).

Joanne Rowling CH, (1965), better known by her pen name J. K. Rowling, is a British author, screenwriter, producer. She is best known for writing the Harry Potter fantasy series, which has won multiple awards and sold more than 500 million copies, becoming the best-selling book series in history. The books are the basis of a popular film series, over which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts and was a producer on the final films.

Back home, there was a hypocritical protest by a group of people under the banner Indian writers whence a disgruntled group announced that they are returning the Sahitya Akademi Award to protest growing intolerance in the society.  They alleged that the intolerance had grown after change in Central Govt from Congress and many retorted questioning their silence when majority community was under attack.   Former Sahitya Akademi president Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari claimed that he has evidence to prove that the so-called “award wapsi” movement in 2015, when more than 50 writers returned their awards to protest alleged growth in intolerance under the Narendra Modi regime, were part of a politically motivated campaign organised by Marxist writers and a biased  Hindi poet to defame the government in the run-up to the Bihar assembly election.

This is about a different ‘award-wapsi’ that of JK Rowling protesting to return the  Ripple of Hope award from the US Kennedy family, coming as it does after Kerry Kennedy stating Rowling's views on gender 'diminished the identity' of transgender people.

'Harry Potter' creator JK Rowling said on Friday she would give back an award presented by the US Kennedy family after one of its members criticised her views on gender issues. The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organisation gave Rowling its Ripple of Hope honour last year. But the group's president, Kerry Kennedy, said this month the British writer's outspoken views on gender 'diminished the identity' of trans people. 

'Kerry Kennedy recently felt it necessary to publish a statement denouncing my views,' Rowling said in a statement on her website. 'The statement incorrectly implied that I was transphobic, and that I am responsible for harm to trans people,' she added. 'I absolutely refute the accusation.  'In solidarity with those who have contacted me but who are struggling to make their voices heard, and because of the very serious conflict of views between myself and RFKHR, I feel I have no option but to return the Ripple of Hope Award.'

Rowling sparked controversy in June for tweeting about the use of the phrase 'people who menstruate' instead of women. 'I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?', she wrote. It led to a string of denunciations, including from the actor Daniel Radcliffe, who played Potter in the blockbuster film franchise, and other actors who starred in the series. Rowling had earlier expressed support for a woman who had lost her job over what her employer deemed to be 'transphobic' tweets. Rowling said 'accusations and threats from trans activists have been bubbling in my Twitter timeline' ever since but she had also been 'overwhelmed' by private messages of support.

She said the 'toxicity' around the discussion was damaging and frightening for people within and outside the trans community. 'I've been particularly struck by the stories of brave detransitioned young women who've risked the opprobrium of activists by speaking up about a movement they say has harmed them,' she said on Friday.   'I've been forced to the unhappy conclusion that an ethical and medical scandal is brewing.' Rowling's comments are the latest controversy surrounding her work. In some parts of the world, they have been banned for being linked to witchcraft and the occult.

Interesting ! or controversial ! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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